Granny visits church in Kanye never to return home

Goitsemang Edward Phirinyane, a son of missing 71-year-old Baitshepi Phirinyane says they have looked everywhere for his mother but still cannot find her.

Today (Wednesday) marks exactly 17 days since Phirinyane went missing.

Edward told The Midweek Sun that on the day his mother went missing, she had gone to Salvation House Church in Kanye at the invite of a neighbour.

“One of our neighbours invited her to church, it was on Sunday. We do not know what then happened there but what we have gathered is that after church, the neighbour was dropped at home by church members while my mother remained behind for religious lessons,” Edward said.

However, his mother was nowhere to be found after church when class began. No one knew where she had gone. They tried to look for her but could not find her.

“We were informed of the matter and eventually reported to the police around 8 pm, following which church leaders were questioned together with the neighbour. At around 12 midnight, we began searching for her all over Kanye,” Edward shared.

They checked all malls and hospitals thinking that maybe she got lost trying to walk home but they found nothing.

On Monday, the search continued and around noon, they received a tip-off, someone claiming to have seen a woman matching his mother’s description was spotted near Mmakgodumo dam just outside Kanye.

“We saw footprints there matching hers the prints led us to Losabanyana and all the way to Moshaneng village.” Darkness caught up with them while they searched and decided to go back home and continue the next day. They were once again directed by another person claiming to have seen her at the Dilokwana cattle post outside Moshaneng.

“We saw her shoe prints there too but sadly they led us nowhere, the tracks that had all along kept us going, disappeared like she was picked or they were erased,” he said. And that was the last time they saw or heard anything close to finding their mother.

“Our lives have been put on a total standstill, we just want our mother, we are drained emotionally because we wonder where she went and what might be happening to her,” Edward shared.

He appeals to members of the public to bring forward any information that could help the family and the police to find his mother.

Salvation House Pastor Goabaone Kgosimodimo confirmed that Phirinyane was last seen at his church. “It is true that she came to our church, it was her first time at church and we are saddened by what has happened, as I speak we are still in the bush searching for her,” he said on Tuesday evening.

He confirmed that at Salvation House, all new visitors are taken through short teachings about God after church. “She was supposed to be in a room with other guests to be properly welcomed in church but she was not there, it seems she tried going home but somehow got lost,” the Pastor said.

Kgosimodimo said at their church, they always ensure that elderly people are transported back home for safety reasons and that is how they realised quickly once church business was done that Phirinyane was missing.